SOUTH Australia’s most talented Under 18s players took to the field in an internal trial on the weekend to help selectors narrow down the Croweaters squad for the upcoming National Under 18 Championships.
On a beautiful Sunday morning at Thebarton Oval in perfect conditions the preliminary U18 squad went through its paces in a selection trial. The main draft talents were “rested” for this match with Jack Lukosius, Jackson Hately, Connor Rozee, Luke Valente, Hugo Munn, Tom Lewis and Jez McLennan running laps prior to the match. The one exception was Izak Rankine – who missed several games due to a suspension early in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) season – who played in the match for extra game time. In a game which the Blue team led at three quarter time by 41 points, the Yellow team had a spirited comeback with a seven goal to one final quarter to fall four points short.
South Australia Blue 13.11 (89) defeated South Australia Yellow 12.13 (85)
The notable performances across both teams were:
Izak Rankine: Played and continued his league form with multiple goals, including a couple of magical snaps, as well as bringing his teammates into the game with some score assists. Rankine played mainly as a half forward and rotating into the midfield.
Hayden Sampson: The son of former Crow Clay was also electrifying through the midfield with some hard running and hit the scoreboard with at least three goals, looking classy and composed.
Tom Sparrow: A midfield bull, putting his head over the ball and busting into and out of packs. Sparrow also exploded away from a number of centre clearances to hit targets inside 50.
Mihail Lochowiak: Lochowiak was especially damaging in the first half with his trademark rebound run from half-back, showing class and poise with the ball in hand.
Aaron Nietschke: Playing mainly across half back after a quiet first half, Nietschke had plenty of impact in the second half, with his defensive work and rebound setting up his teammates.
Will Gould: The underager played as a key defender in the first half and was composed, taking a number of intercept marks and was not beaten in a contest. In the second half he went to the deep forward role and again presented well and clunked some marks inside 50.
Oscar Chapman: The overager played across half forward and played a linking role taking a number of marks and rolling off to drive the team forward. His defensive pressure also caused a couple of crucial turnovers.
Riley Grundy: The brother of Collingwood’s Brodie played as a key defender and was very competitive in the contest. Grundy was also able to do a good job pinch-hitting in the ruck.
Finn Betterman: Playing through the midfield, Betterman sparked the second half comeback with some hard running and a number of centre clearances and effective disposals.
Dylan Stephens: The underage winger was especially effective in the first half with much of the Yellow rebound going through his wing. Stephens opened up plenty of space and had a number of marks.
Kysaiah Pickett: The underager played exclusively as a forward pocket and was especially dangerous in the second half, creating a number of scoring opportunities for his teammates with some pinpoint kicking under pressure.
Seb Schrieber: Started the game at half-back, however he had more impact when he went forward and was able to get two goals to get the Yellow team back in the game in the last quarter.
The Final 35-40 man squad will be announced tonight as the team then rolls into two trial games against SANFL Reserves teams, prior to the first match against Western Australia on Sunday 3 June.
South Australia Under 18 side schedule:
19/5/18 – Trial v Glenelg Reserves
26/5/18 –Trial v West Adelaide Reserves
3/6/18 – Game 1 v WA – at Alberton Oval
9/6/18 – Trial v WWT Reserves
17/6/18 – Game 2 v Vic Country – at Adelaide Oval
29/6/18 – Game 3 v Allies – at GMHBA Stadium
4/7/18 – Game 4 v Vic Metro – at Etihad Stadium